Every year, Rand McNally rates road trips across the country and compiles the best of them into a
handy guidebook. This year, the distinguished mapping specialists rated an epic roadtrip circling the Continental Divide in Wyoming one of the best and we couldn’t agree more. You’ll want to schedule plenty of time for this roadtrip so you get the full effect of the state’s beauty and are able to enjoy the loads of sights and attractions along the way. According to Travel Wyoming, once you’ve completed the loop, you will have crossed the Rocky Mountain Continental Divide more than a few times – and it’s sure to be a trip you’ll never forget.
This loop over and around the Continental Divide covers about 500 miles. You could complete it in one day, but you'll have more fun and will have a better chance to appreciate the stunning Wyoming scenery if you stretch it out over several days.
Jackson to Cody, 177 miles
The first stretch of the trip is the longest. You'll start out in Jackson and head northeast to Cody. It's over 175 miles, but much of the path is through Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. During your stopover in Cody, visit the Museum of the Plains, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, or take in a rodeo - if you're there anytime between June and August, there's one every night.
Cody to Meeteetse, 40 miles
Once you leave Cody, you also leave the beaten path. Your next stop will be in the tiny, charming town of Meeteetse. Here, you can visit museums, historic sites, an awesome chocolatier, and it's the home of Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Program.
Meeteetse to Thermopolis, 44 miles
Thermopolis may be a one-stoplight-town, but it's also where you can cop a soak in the free bath house at Hot Springs State Park. The travertine terraces and other calcium carbonate formations will amaze you, and you should be sure to visit the dinosaur center. If you have time and the gear, Thermopolis is also a good spot for rafting on the Bighorn River.
Thermopolis to Shoshoni, 32 miles
With its proximity to Boysen Lake, fishermen love Shoshoni. It's the walleye capital of the state, so bring your tackle box and your pole.
Shoshoni to Riverton, 22 miles
With all there is to do in Riverton, you may want to make it one of your overnight stops. Riverton is actually located inside the boarders of the Wind River Indian Reservation, so there is tons of history and culture to take in. Spend some time at the casino, where there's more than just gaming going on. Be sure to catch at least one performance by the Native American dancers.
Riverton to Hudson, 12 miles
Hudson is a classic tiny Wyoming town. What it might lack in big-city amenities, it makes up for in character and charm. Stop by Silar's Steak House for one of the best steaks you'll ever taste before heading down the road.
Hudson to Lander, 13 miles
Lander is fairly close to Sink's Canyon State Park, and the Popo Agie River runs through the town. Several gold mines and ghost towns dot the area around Lander. The city itself, however, offers a variety of things to do including museums, art galleries, and historic sites.
Lander to Dubois, 75 miles
The quaint little town of Dubois, Wyoming is where you'll find such western treasures as Indian rock art, wildlife viewing, and historical museums. Take a hike on local trails and learn fascinating facts about Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep at the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center.
Dubois to Jackson, 86 miles
The last leg of the trip is the second longest one, but it takes you back to the beginning. A small town with a big city personality that offers lots to do including hiking, biking, skiing, art galleries, museums, world-class dining, stagecoach rides through the city, and more, Jackson Hole isn't a bad place to end up.
Have you circled the Continental Divide? What other epic roadtrips have you taken in Wyoming?